So, there we were, in HQ, discussing what we could remember from the previous weekend, when Limerick Girl starts telling me about meeting up with a crowd that she was in college with. She stopped to sigh and roll her eyes and said how it was ‘one of those type of evenings’. Ah yes! the ‘I don’t give a fiddler’s about what’s going on with you, I just want everyone to know that I’m married with kids, living in a huge house, just got promoted and am living the kind of life you could only dream about’ type evenings. Or as us single [oh the shame!] people refer to as ‘Evenings with the Bitches’. So, Limerick girl went from conversation to conversation, shrugging her shoulders saying ‘Ah! Things are grand with me, I’m working in a different part of the company, still living in the same place I was in a few years back, still single yeah, but sure things are grand, I’m happy enough, well sure I’m single yeah, but sure no big deal. Really. You seem more worried about it than I am right now! Sure lookit! I’m fine! Things are fine. I just don’t have a lot of news’.
Then in return, or perhaps in addition to that she had to endure the ‘Oh, well moving is such a pain, but we had to really, two kids take up a lot of space and so do the cars and the snooker table and sure the garden in the last place would never fit a pool, let alone a pony! Oh! We’ve another wedding next weekend! And we were in John and Claire’s cottage in Achill last weekend, Sean and Clodagh’s the weekend before that. Lord! When you’ve his friends and family to fit in aswell as your own it’s just a nightmare! And we were at little Sorcha’s First Communion ‘do’ before that – great excuse for a glass of Chardonnay in the afternoon!’
Continuing on with, ‘Do y’know, between the kids and then my Stephen’s work ‘do’s’, I haven’t a minute to myself! But that’s what it’s all about, settling down and having kids! Haven’t a minute to myself anymore! I’d love to be single again, able to go out whenever I wanted, the thrill of meeting a new man – are ye sure you’re still single? I just don’t understand why! Anyway! Oh don’t mind me, I’m only joking! I love my Stephen, he’s great with the kids and he’s a Senior Partner now, did I tell you that? Wouldn’t swap him for the world! And there’s only four Senior Partners in the company and my Stephen is one of them.’
So, after all the head tilting and sighing and hands of sympathy on her shoulders and pep talks of ‘Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone great. Any day now. Aaannnnyyy day now’, Limerick Girl noticed that the conversation started to change a bit. Each time someone would sit back down at the table, there’d been another crisis with the babysitter taking ages to answer the phone or wondering where her husband was, when it was plain to see that he was last seen having a great time with some young wan near the bar. There were a few bitchy comments exchanged. Eyes hit the floor when questions were asked about so-and-so. The girl who had had a few more drinks than everyone else looked decidely upset and ran off to the Ladies at one point. One of the others whispered into Limerick girl’s ear that herself and her husband don’t sleep in the same room any more. Another broke down and announced to everyone that her husband was having an affair but is sticking with her for the sake of the kids. Another announced that her husband’s business was in trouble but both families think everything is fine.
Oh how alcohol lubricates the lips! Not one person in the group seemed to be genuinely happy with their nuclear family and astronomically sized houses. Except Limerick Girl, who, not having either, at least had her dignity and hadn’t lied through her teeth to keep up with the Jones’ and the Murphy’s and went home happy!
She just told it like it is.
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